North Central College - Naperville, IL

Model UN students represent Equatorial Guinea at national conference

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Back row, l. to r.: Brianna Howell ’12, Margaret Nunne ’11, Ivana Miljic ’11, Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba, Greg Voegtle ’11, William Muck, Etienne Mashuli ’13, Christopher Bilbro ’11. Front row, l. to r.: Mary Naset ’13, Megan Smith ’11, Abbey Smith ’11

Nine students enrolled in the winter term Model UN class attended the five-day National Model United Nations Conference in New York City in April and represented the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. They joined more than 2,500 students from five continents and interacted with delegations representing countries from all over the world in a simulation of what takes place at the United Nations.

Led by faculty teacher William Muck, assistant professor of political science, the students researched every aspect of the country, learning about its history, economics, politics, culture and foreign policy during the 10-week winter term class. Once at the conference, students interacted with others “in character” to accurately reflect the views and positions of Equatorial Guinea, sitting in all-day committee sessions with delegates from other countries working to build consensus on various topics they were debating.

“The national conference is a rigorous exercise in global diplomacy,” says Muck. “Our students faced the challenges of trying to build global consensus while still representing the strategic interests of Equatorial Guinea. In doing so, they’re forced to step outside their comfort zone and think about the world through the lens of a different country."

One of the highlights of the conference was holding a mission briefing with Anatolio Ndong Mba, the United Nations Ambassador for Equatorial Guinea. All nine students from the class attended the conference. They are seniors Margaret Nunne, Ivana Miljic, Greg Voegtle, Christopher Bilbro, Megan Smith and Abbey Smith; junior Brianna Howell; and sophomores Etienne Mashuli and Mary Naset.

Any North Central student can take the Model UN course as long as the prerequisites are met. It’s offered every year in both fall and winter terms. The fall term class of 14 students participated in the American Model United Nations conference in Chicago and represented the country of Uganda.